Drink treated, clean water

Thursday February 04, 2016 Written by Published in Health

People have been advised to drink treated water as cases of a new stomach bug have emerged on Rarotonga.


While Cook Islands Community Health Services are yet to receive reports of any outbreak, there are indications that stomach bug is prevalent on the island.

Community Health Services director Doctor Neti Herman said in their weekly report, they have received only two cases of mild diarrhea last week.

“We are hearing it but we haven’t got any reports from the hospitals on anything that indicates there is an outbreak,” she said.

“We request people who have the symptoms to see us so we can stop this from spreading.”

CI News understands several Rarotonga residents including tourists have been complaining of stomach problems since last week.

This includes a whole family who have been struck down with the illness.

Symptoms include vomiting, stomach cramps, severe diarrhea, fatigue and fever.

Cook Islands Trading Corporation (CITC) pharmacist Shannon Saunders said they had some customers dropping by at their outlet complaining of symptoms relating to stomach bug.

She said severe cases such as fever were referred to the doctors.

“We have this (stomach bug) in particularly when there is a lot of rain or a little rain. When there is little rain, people tend not to wash their hands that often,” Saunders said.

During heavy rain, she said, waste from animal farms are washed into the water system.

“That’s why it’s important to make sure that people drink bottled water or that from the water stations around the island.

“In hot weather like this, people need to keep themselves hydrated and the dehydration increases for someone who has diarrhea.

“Nu (coconut water) and non-sugary sports drinks are suitable for them.”

Saunders said those with severe diarrhea and fever should visit a medical practitioner for examination.

Stomach bug is caused by a virus that attacks the gastrointestinal system.

According to myoclinic.org, symptoms may appear within one to three days after infection and can range from mild to severe.

“Symptoms usually last just a day or two, but occasionally they may persist as long as 10 days.”

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